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Acquisition

Washington Insider Shares Views on Obama, Gates, Acquisition and Afghanistan

October 19, 2009
By Maryann Lawlor

MILCOM 2009 opened today with a speech by David Gergen, CNN commentator and editor at-large for US News and World Report.

Coast Guard Ponders Unmanned Eyes, Intel Capabilities

September 14, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

The U.S. Coast Guard is taking steps to enhance its command, control, intelligence and reconnaissance capabilities with new unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and network-centric systems for its ships. At a press briefing late last week, RAdm. Ronald J. Robago, USCG, the service's new assistant commandant for acquisitions, discussed steps being taken to evaluate and select a new shipboard UAS.

To Improve Acquisition, Government and Industry Must Strike a Balance

September 10, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

Whether it's needs versus wants, open conversations versus regulations to protect intellectual property or oversight versus open development, agencies and the commercial sector must find the happy medium for acquisition processes to be truly reformed.

Conference Highlights Acquisition Dilemmas

September 9, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

Acquisitions experts from the government and private sectors agree that the procurement system is broken, but do not necessarily agree about how to fix it. Meeting at AFCEA International's SOLUTIONS Series conference today, a consensus was achieved on contributing factors to the problem. Long acquisition cycles strip the effectiveness of many of the IT systems that are being purchased by the time they hit the field. Time and cost estimates are not realistic from the beginning of the purchasing process. Leadership to bring about true change is lacking. These were just some of the topics brought up during today's discussion, a discussion that will continue tomorrow on the second day of "IT Acquisition: Shifting to a Modern Paradigm," taking place at the National Conference Center, Lansdowne, Virginia, as well as broadcast via the Web.

CWID Looking for a few Good Technologies

September 1, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

The 2010 Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration (CWID) cycle has begun. Organizations interested in participating in the event can go to the Federal Business Opportunity site for details about how to participate.

LandWarNet Show Daily--Thursday

August 21, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

LandWarNet closed with a keynote address by Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the Army's vice chief of staff. Outlining his views on command and control, the general noted that the Army is in a critical time of transformation and conflict. He added that the service has undergone rapid change during the last eight years.

The general noted that a critical lesson learned from the past several years is that vital technological and operational changes are made on the ground by soldiers at the tip of the spear. More data is now available to warfigthers than ever before, but it must be made available to a variety of personnel across all echelons, he said.

If the sharing of battlefield information had not been managed properly, it would have crippled the Army's operational efforts, Gen. Chiarelli shared. However, he credits the success of systems such as FBCB2 and the Command Post of the Future (CPOF) for providing soldiers with increased situational awareness. The tactical ground reporting system (TIGR), is making its way to troops in the field. It is a virtual notebook designed to provide soldiers and commanders with data and information to make more efficient decisions.

But despite these developments, there have been challenges. The general noted that communications personnel resisted the development and deployment of command and control systems such as FBCB2, CPOF and TIGR. He added that the Army also takes a "cookie cutter" approach to computer security and warned that it is individual soldiers who suffer from bad decisions and lack of foresight about the implications of some policies.

DISA Leader Reveals His Thinking About the Agency's Future

August 7, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

Top Defense Information Systems Agency officials met with industry today to share their strategy and plans for the future.

Agencies Form Commercial Satellite Communications Services Pact

August 7, 2009

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and the General Services Administration (GSA) have entered into a partnership to streamline acquisition of commercial satellite communications (SATCOM) services. Announced yesterday, the agreement will lead to a hybrid of GSA's multiple award schedules and indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contracts. Officials of both organizations are lauding this collaborative effort as "historic" and agree that the Future Commercial SATCOM Access contract will be worth $5 billion over a 10-year period.

What Needs to Change?

May 20, 2009
By H. Mosher

Chris Gunderson of the Naval Postgraduate School posited some interesting ideas during yesterday afternoon's plenary sessions about why everyone keeps hearing the same things about changes that need to be made. Certain things, he suggested, we should just acknowledge and move past.

Small Business to Receive Big Boost

April 24, 2009

The U.S. Air Force is redoubling its efforts to reach out to small businesses. David Van Buren, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, and Ronald Poussard, director of the service's small business programs, explain that this effort seeks to remove the "check-the-box" mentality often associated with small business outreach. Innovation, agility, responsiveness and efficiency are some of the attributes small companies offer, but Van Buren also says, "We don't have enough competition now. Growing these innovative small businesses will help us rectify that by increasing the industrial base." The service plans to enhance its relationship with small businesses by helping them move into the more mature states of development and production.

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